The Japanese word kimono translates to “thing to wear,” and at the moment, kimonos are just the thing to wear. The slinky, sumptuous robes have been around since the 5th century. Though they’re now treated as everyday-wear in Japan, kimonos are still worn for special occasions like weddings and birthdays.
In the last few years kimonos have been re-appropriated and knocked off by slews of fast-fashion companies, but high-quality kimonos are making a resurgence. This weekend, L.A. is getting a custom kimono shop: Open the Kimono opens this Sunday on Abbot Kinney.
The company is the brainchild of Ibby Hartley, the former designer of Joie, and Lise Matthews, a Venice-based architect. Matthews has been sewing Yukata-style kimonos to gift to her family and friends for years. This year, she and Hartley decided to transform the kimono-crafting into a professional venture. Each of the new brand’s kimonos is one-of-a-kind and made from rayon challis, which is closely related to silk. Shoppers can expect traditional cuts and a slight California design influence–everything is made in Venice.
Stop by the Abbot Kinney store this Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. to catch the launch party. After that, Open the Kimono will be open Tuesdays through Sundays, from 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.